Cody Buckel and Mike Olt Winners May Minor League Awards

Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers announced today the club’s minor league award winners for May. Right-hander Cody Buckel was named Pitcher of the Month, third baseman Mike Olt was named Player of the Month, outfielder Engel Beltre was named Defender of the Month, and right-hander Randy Henry was named Reliever of the Month.

Buckel, who turns 20 next Monday, was 2-1 with a 0.82 ERA (3 ER/33.0 IP) and 40 strikeouts against 11 walks, while holding opposing Carolina League batters to a .162 average (18-111) over 5 games/starts with High-A Myrtle Beach.  The California native recorded the 3rd-lowest ERA and tied for the 10th-most strikeouts among all minor league pitchers during the month. The 6-foot-1 right-hander whiffed a career-high 11 batters, while completing 8.0 innings for the first time in his career on May 17 at Winston-Salem. Overall, Buckel has gone 4-3 with a 1.42 ERA (11 ER/69.2 IP) and 86 strikeouts against 24 walks in 12 games/starts this season. He leads the Carolina League in ERA and strikeouts, while ranking among the circuit’s leaders in WHIP (2nd, 1.00). Buckel was selected in the 2nd round of the 2010 June draft and signed by Todd Guggiana.

Olt, 23, batted .333 (33-99) with 17 walks, 7 doubles, 5 home runs, and 23 RBI over 26 games with Double-A Frisco in the month of May. The Connecticut product tied for the 4th-most RBI of any player at the Double-A level during the month, while his .993 OPS ranked 10th. Olt has batted .371 (13-35) with 8 HR and 16 RBI through his first 9 games in June and now leads the Texas League in home runs (19), RBI (52), total bases (138), and OPS (1.028). Olt was selected in the supplemental round (49th overall) of the 2010 June draft and signed by Jay Heafner.

Beltre, 22, started 26 games in the outfield for Double-A Frisco in May, appearing in centerfield for all but one of those contests. The Domincan Republic native did not commit an error during the month, as his 1.000 fielding percentage for the season leads all Texas League outfielders. Beltre has tallied the most total chances (163) and putouts (156), while his 7 assists rank 5th on the circuit. At the plate, Beltre is batting .257 (66-257) with 7 doubles, 9 triples, 6 home runs, 26 RBI, and 16 stolen bases. Beltre’s 9 triples are tied for most among all minor leaguers. The award is the fourth of Beltre’s career, as he has won the honor once in each of the last 4 seasons (2009-12).

Henry, 22, went 1-1 with a 0.73 ERA (1 ER/12.1 IP) and 4 saves over 8 relief appearances for High-A Myrtle Beach in May. The right-hander compiled 13 strikeouts against 4 walks, while holding opposing batters to a .217 average (10-46). Overall, Henry has gone 4-2 with a 1.55 ERA (5 ER/29.0 IP), 7 saves, and 28 strikeouts over 18 games/one start. As a reliever, Henry has posted a 0.33 ERA (1 ER/27.0 IP) and held opponents to a .196 average (20-102). Henry was acquired from Baltimore, along with Greg Miclat, on December 1, 2011.

Texas also announced today that the club has agreed to terms with two players selected in last week’s 2012 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. The Rangers have now agreed with 20 of their 43 selections.

Those agreeing to terms:

Round              Player                          POS                 School                                     Hometown                   

 18                   Ryan Harvey                 RHP                 Seton Hall U.                             Manalapan, NJ

29                    Brandon Kuter               RHP                 George Mason U.                      Fairfax, VA